Former Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks dies at age of 56

May 4, 2023, 3:42 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

Former Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks died Wednesday at the age of 56, the NBA announced.

Blanks was the GM in Phoenix from 2010-2013 after serving as the assistant general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers and scout for the San Antonio Spurs. He was also an ESPN analyst and most recently served as a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lance Blanks,” the Suns said in a statement. “He loved basketball and contributed to the game as a player, executive, scout and broadcaster. We got to see his passion for the game firsthand in his time as Suns general manager.

“Beyond basketball, Lance was a devoted father to his beloved daughters and a revered friend to many. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this most difficult of times. He will be missed.”

Prior to his days as an NBA executive, Blanks was selected No. 26 overall in the 1990 draft by the Detroit Pistons, where he played for two seasons before his final year in the league with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1992-93.

“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” former Pistons guard and teammate Joe Dumars said in a press release. “It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends.

“I’m eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years. His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better. You will be dearly missed, brother.”

The 6-foot-4 Blanks played his college ball at Virginia and Texas, with the latter featuring the high-scoring trio of Blanks, Travis Mays and Joey Wright — also known as “BMW.”

Blanks, a guard, helped lead his squad to the 1990 Elite Eight and was inducted into the Texas Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2007.

He is survived by his mother Clarice, brother Sidney Jr., the mother of his two daughters, Renee, his daughters, Riley and Bryn, and granddaughter, Isabel.

“My dad was my person. He was my teacher, my idol, my best friend,” his daughter Riley said in a statement. “The love I have for him is simply immeasurable.

“He carried his family and friends on his selfless shoulders and he was the wisest man I’ll ever know. The path ahead is dark without him but he once told me that he trusted my sister and me to carry the torch of our family’s legacy. And we will.”

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